I must be the last person on the blogosphere to eat at Providore. Granted, I am not really often in SM Aura, but those few times I was I would often walk past this inviting restaurant and wonder what’s inside. The front has a totally different feel. I took the opportunity to finally eat here with the family when I saw that they were part of the Zomato Gold lineup, with a 1+1 promo on food. And whoa! Now I understand why this restaurant is so consistently highly rated.
Providore is part of the Raintree Group of restaurants, and it certainly has that same feel as their other restaurants such as Chelsea Garden. The interiors are classy without being intimidating, and you can see that the décor is also carefully curated. It’s the sort of place that makes you want to stay, but maybe not during the peak meal hours because there will be people waiting for their turn to eat. I can certainly imagine myself spending an entire afternoon here with a good burger and cup of coffee. (Weird combo?)
Providore’s menu isn’t one thing or another in terms of cuisine, so I can only classify it as a place that serves comforting food that fills up not just the belly but the soul as well. They have a lot of Filipino dishes, but they also have a lot of Western dishes. There is something for every mood and every palate, including a wide array of desserts. It literally does provide something for everyone, it seems.
Apart from being a full-fledged restaurant, Providore is also a bakery and deli, but somehow it also manages to be a grocery store for your local product needs. Tall shelves are lined from end to end with Filipino products– from coffee to bottled fish to condiments. Many of the brands were unfamiliar to me so I browsed in wonder and in awe, but ended up deciding not to buy anything yet. After all, we came here to eat.
When our starters arrived, I was totally smitten by the Zucchini Pecorino Fries (Php 195). You squeeze a bit of lemon on top, but the flavors also come from the Malagos pecorino, buttermilk, and a tasty ranch dip. We’ve been making a copycat version here at home and enjoying it immensely. Their Providore Salad (Php 475) is also a fresh and savory meal opener. You get avocado, crispy bacon, bleu cheese, cranberries and walnuts, arugula, market greens, and grilled bits of Japanese corn, all bound together by a zesty buttermilk ranch dressing.
The Salmon Belly Guava Sinigang (Php 375) tickled my sour-loving tastebuds in a wonderful way. The guava broth really brought on the asim, as well as the anghang. I loved it! Textures are abundant thanks to the mix of mustasa leaves, radish, French beans, and cherry tomatoes. The salmon belly slices were tender and melt in the mouth delightful. Somehow we managed to divide this small pot among six people, and I even got to have a second serving. (I love sinigang!)
Carnivores may want to try the Providore Callos (Php 420), with homemade chorizo, tripe, garbanzos, and roasted pimientos, served with rice pilaf on the side. The pilaf was oily and had a bite to it rather than the fluffiness I was expecting, but it pairs well with the callos. The scene-stealer was certainly the Steel Plate-Cooked Garlic Butter “Salpicao” Steak (Php 420), which I kept wishing came in a bigger serving. It was so juicy and delicious! It is basically sizzled medium rare US beef, flavored with chili, garlic, native onions, and drizzled with olive oil. Recommended!
My favorite for the day was certainly the Spicy Crab Laing (Php 250). Though I love almost every dish involving coconut cream, laing has a special place in my heart. This was probably one of my favorite versions. Lots of chili involved, but the spiciness complemented the umami or linamnam of the coconut cream sauce very well. I wish we had more than that bit of crab sprinkled on top though. Nonetheless, the laing made me eat more Java Rice (Php 95) than I was intending. It’s that sort of dish!
I made my way to the cake display at the front of Providore to find some dessert, and the Miso Caramel Chocolate Cake (Php 195) immediately caught my attention. Clear caramel notes ring through the decadent dark chocolate, and every moist mouthful makes you want to reach for the miso notes too.
To be completely honest, my expectations upon eating at Providore were sky high thanks to the ratings I’ve seen on the interwebs for this restaurant. I can’t say I was disappointed. I can’t say all those people were wrong in their opinions. They make great food here, but mostly I feel that the servings are a bit small for the price. There is no shortage in quality and variety however. We all gladly had a memorable meal. There are still so many interesting things on the menu of Providore I would like to try, and the annoying thing is, SM Aura is too out of the way!
Full disclosure: This post is NOT sponsored in any way. I received no compensation for writing this review. All opinions stated above are my own.